This is the website of David Hamilton (b. 1955), one of New Zealand's most widely performed composers. Until 2001 Head of Music at Epsom Girls Grammar School in Auckland, from 2002 he has been concentrating on composing, reducing teaching commitments to part-time. He continued to work with Opus, the top choir of Epsom Girls Grammar School until the end of 2003, and conducted St Mary's Schola (St Mary's College 2008-2012). He was a foundation member of the New Zealand Youth Choir (1979-1982), has been composer-in-residence with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (1999), and has also been Deputy Music Director of Auckland Choral (1996-2011).

With a strong interest and involvement in choral music, Hamilton's music is being increasingly performed by choirs around the world. Recent significant performances have been in Italy, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and the USA, and works have been commissioned by choirs in England, Japan, Ireland, the USA and Finland.

He is also active as a choral adjudicator, and is in demand as a workshop presenter in New Zealand and overseas. He has lectured in both the School of Music and School of Education at the University of Auckland. In 2013 he was guest composer at 'Sing Aotearoa', and in early 2015 he was composer-in-residence at the NZ Singing School.

He is also busy as a choral conductor with community choirs, having worked with Tauranga Civic Choir, Napier Civic Choir, Pakuranga Choral Society, Taupo Choral Society and South Auckland Choral Society, as well as conducting Auckland Choral on several occasions. From 2017 he has been appointed as Principal Guest Conductor with Pakuranga Choral Society.

Full biographical details and lists of works can be accessed on other pages.

 

Some YouTube videos of performances from the 2017 Big Sing finale...

"When Night is Over"
performed by Choralation conducted by Rowan Johnston with Samantha Lim (soprano saxophone)
(Note: sadly, the 2017 finale took place in the Aotea Centre, so a full pipe organ was not available. The work had more impact in the Town Hall at the regional event.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=995z7iddXSg

 

Some YouTube videos of performances from the 2016 Big Sing finale...

"Joy" performed by Choralation conducted by Rowan Johnston

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTk15JRs1V4

"Karakia of the Moon" performed by Canatare conducted by Fiona Wilson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_1yjKat8Hw&list=PLlC6Iz_ZTlsYqeGv7fDsBipoFvdjK78am&index=21

"Come Sleep, Oh Sleep" performed by Bel Canto conducted by Sue Densem

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNtrRe-DLkw&index=17&list=PLlC6Iz_ZTlsYqeGv7fDsBipoFvdjK78am

 

Pictured with David Squire in St Peter's (Rome).

NEWS UPDATES

Latest update of my website. July 2018. Lists of works still need updating. Some links to recordings may currently not function.
A new website is being developed, so bear with any current issues please!

2018: A FRUITFUL START TO THE YEAR

The early part of my year tends to involve writing music for the schools I'm involved with. But alongside this there were a  number of other requests for new scores. Completed to mid-April are the following works.

Song of Sunset on the River   erhu, TTBB, piano (for Grammarphonics, Auckland Grammar School)

O Captain! My Captain!   TBB, piano (for Grammar Voices, Auckland Grammar School)

Lift Up, O Little Children   unison voices, piano

If Stars Were Stitches   SA, piano

A Song of Remembrance   2-part treble voices, bagpipes, snare drum and piano (for the 2018 APPA Music Festival)

The Lamb   SSA, piano (for Cigno Voce, Westlake Girls High School)

Karanga Poroporoaki  2 SSA choirs, 2 horns (for Cantare, Westlake Girls High School)

My Boy Jack   SSA, flute and piano (for Nota Bella, Westlake Girls High School)

An Ariette for Music   SSSAA, soprano saxophone and cello (for Bel Canto, Burnside High School)

The Early Morning   SSAA, piano (FOr Saints Alive, St Cuthbert's College)

She Walks in Beauty   SAB, piano

A Prayer For Mother Earth   SSAB, handbells and traditional Maori instruments (commissioned by the 18th International Handbell Symposium, Cairns, Australia)

A Westlake Mass   5 pieces with various voicings (for the choirs of Westlake Girls and Boys High Schools, for their Italy tour 2018)

"Songs of the Moon and Stars"  erhu and gizheng, TTBB and SSAATTBB choirs (commissioned by the NZ Secondary Students CHoir)

Three Love Songs of Sara Teasdale  soprano, clarinet, guzheng, piano

The Windmills of Magong  6 hands, one piano

The Windmills of Magong  version for concert band (for Auckland Grammar School Wind Band)

Te Rerenga Wairua  clarinet, bassoon, piano

Pastorale, Nocturne and Rustic Dance  alto saxophone, trombone, piano

 

CHASING PERFORMANCES TO ROME AND HONG KONG - JULY 2018

IN July 2018 the top choirs of Westlake Girls and Boys High Schools (Choralation and Voicemale) undertake a tour to Italy. as part of that trip the choirs sang Mass in St Peter's in Rome. For the performance I had been asked to write five new pieces for the choirs to sing. These were an Introit, an anthem, two pieces for communion and a blessing for the end of the service.

Having missed the premiere of "Songs of the Moon and Stars" by the NZ Secondary Students Choir (in order to be in Rome the same weekend), I left the Westlake tour and returned to Hong Kong to hear the choir sing there. Combining with two local choirs, my piece was given a lovely performance conducted by Andrew Withington, and featuring local erhu and guzheng players.

 

CARNEGIE HALL PREMIERE - MAY 2018

On May 19th my setting of Wilfred Owen's poem "On My Songs" will be premiered in Carnegie Hall, New York. Requested by conductor Dr Jennifer Flory (Director of Choral Activities at Georgia College), the work will be presented in one of the MidAmerica Productions concerts. Scored for choir and chamber orchestra.

 

NZTRIO PREMIERE GENERATES PUBLICITY

The premiere of "The Faraday Cage" on 16 September 2015 (with subsequent performances on the 18th and 20th) generated some very positive reviews and also this article in the NZ Herald. Headlined "Emotional contact is essential" the article covered some of my philosophy of composition, in particular the importance of working with community groups. Here is the link:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/william-dart/news/article.cfm?a_id=185&objectid=11516017

 

FEATURED WORK

On the "Music" page is a sample of "In Flanders Fields" for SATB choir and piano. Composed for the 2013 Passchendaele commemoration at Auckland Museum, it becoming a popular piece for ANZAC Day commemorations also. Available in a version for SSA and piano, and also available with orchestral accompaniment.

Feel free to contact me if you want any further information on anything - my contact details are on the Contact Me page.

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